Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quinoa, well, salad

I had two sources of inspiration for this - Corner Burger and leftover quinoa. It is something you can throw together in a matter of minutes and get a beautiful light lunch or dinner. It is one of those meals that are disproportionally rewarding for the effort you put in.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Lazy vareniki (cottage cheese gnocchi)


Just in case you were looking for a recipe to turn your kitchen into a real mess, I've got one for you. Trust me. It works. Lazy veryniki come out great from your very first attempt. They make an amazing breakfast, lunch or snack or even dinner. We kept making them for as long for as I remember myself. However, though I normally succeed in cooking clean, lazy veryniki always leave me with a mess at the kitchen. If you solve this - my respect.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Slow cooked vegetable tagine

I got used to eating tagine in Fontainebleau. The town though small has two or more Moroccan restaurants, one of which was almost next door to our house. We frequented that tiny hospitable place with dark red walls and always well made food. I loved the tagine there, but once I made it at home I realized it can be even better when you can afford to cook it really slowly.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spanish hot chocolate

Our first meeting in Pinch of Cinnamon club was about making churros with Spanish hot chocolate and I was just amazed how good a topic these two were for a short and friendly cooking class. All this chocolate melting, piping out pastry, deep frying and then (very important!) eating is just a lovely little feast. So if you are in search for interactive cooking ideas, consider this one.

I already explained making churros in detail, so now is the turn of Spanish hot chocolate. While churros do take some time to make, the chocolate can hardly take more than 15 minutes. Unlike the French and Italian versions of this drink, Spanish chocolate in normally thickened a little by corn starch. So first you make something like milk kissel and then you add chopped chocolate and mix it in as it melts.

Spanish hot chocolate (vegan version possible)

serves 6

1 liter of milk (substitute for soya milk to make the vegan version)
2-4 table spoons corn starch (depending on how thick you prefer the chocolate)
3 table spoons sugar (or to your taste)
200 g bitter sweet chocolate, 70-75% coco (chopped)

In a small bowl combine the corn starch with 50 ml of cold milk. Pour the rest of the milk into a medium pan, add the sugar and bring to the boil. Take off the heat, pour in the corn starch while whisking. Return to low heat and bring to boil. The milk should thicken a little.

Take off the heat and add the chocolate. Wait for 30 seconds (this will let the chocolate melt), then whisk together till you get a smooth glossy chocolate.

Serve the chocolate hot or warm. To me it is most convenient to eat (with a teaspoon) rather then drink. It is a perfect pair for churros.


Spanish churros
A magic cup of cinnamon hot chocolate

Spanish churros

Have I said already how much I love churros with hot chocolate? I first tried them in Barcelona at a Christmas fair. I was standing there on the snowy Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes holding a paper cone of long hot and crispy sugary doughnuts in one hand and a plastic cup of thick dark majic in the other hand... and had no spare hand whatsoever.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hummus, not seriously

I got addicted to hummus in Insead and a year after graduation it seems it is not going away that easily. My cravings finally made me learn to make it and, surprise, it turned out quite rewarding both in terms of the result and in terms of the process.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Everyday banana bread (vegan version)

I was not going to make this post because it's a little bit like posting the fried eggs you normally make yourself for breakfast. However some of my friends got interested, so I thought why not. It's not the first time that I see the simplest things getting way more resonance than something more sophisticated. After all this breakfast or snack food adds so much pleasure to your everyday life.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Home made granola

I'm for making granola at home. Really. I know that you can buy it ready made at a nearby store. And I'm not one of those people who easily get to making something at home in such a case either. I made it for curiosity. It took some 10 minutes for mixing, went into the oven and 10 minutes later the whole house was filled with magic sweet and spicy aroma. Now even my little bro turned to having healthy breakfast while all the ready made packs keep resting forgotten on our kitchen shelves.